York Sociology Graduate Association conference tackles marginalization

The York Sociology Graduate Association’s (YSGA) upcoming conference, Lumpen-City: Discourses of Marginality/Marginalizing Discourses, is an interdisciplinary conference that will challenge academics and activist-scholars to reflect on the realities of research on marginalized urban populations.

Organized by YSGA in conjunction with the City Institute at York University and the Collaborative Urban Research Laboratory, the Lumpen-City conference will run March 12 and 13 at 280 York Lanes, York University, Keele campus.

The conference will look at the realities and the potential of research on marginalized populations in the context of their struggles.

Research on marginalized urban residents has been an academic cottage industry throughout the history of the social sciences. Marginal groups have been defined and an appearance of fixity has been imposed on them. To this day, representations of such populations as deviant or passive influence everyday preconceptions and politico-administrative strategies, including policies, regulations and laws. Conference speakers will look at how innovative and creative discourses break with this pattern of subjection?

The keynote panel, comprised of Ashanti Alston, National Jericho Movement and the Institute for Anarchist Studies; Viviane Saleh-Hanna, professor of sociology, anthropology and crime & justice studies at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth; Professor Rinaldo Walcott, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto; and geography Professor David Wilson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will look at the Prospects of Activist Research.

Eight sessions throughout the two days will cover topics such as contesting marginality, criminalization & governance, stereotypes in the encounter with complexity, shadow discourses of urban redevelopment, and the practice of researching the margins and representational strategies.

For more information, visit the Lumpen-City Web site.